Sunday, 26 May 2013

Charca del Suarez and Surrounding area, Padul and Granada, Granada Province.

A day on the coast and amongst the wetlands.
(Deb and Ian Day Seven).
We set off at 07:00 and headed to the coast via Granada, we arrived a little early and had a look at the agricultural area to the North West of the Charca del Suarez Nature reserve. We started to check the area and soon we started to add species to the day list including Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and a singing Savi's Warbler (Buscarla Unicolor / Locustella luscinoides) which remained hiden but called for quite some time. As we moved along the road we had a fly over Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides) and a little later two Purple Herons (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea) flew off in the same direction. At this point we were very lucky to have the company of my good friend Juan Perez who had also come down to the area to have a morning at Charca. We spent some more time searching in this area and heard or saw Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia) and lots of fly over Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis).
We then entered the reserve and started to make our way around the hides in an anti-clockwise direction starting with the hide with looks over Laguna del Trébor, from here we saw Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), the first of the re-introduction Red-knobbed Coots (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), a couple of Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) which were resting on the floating platforms, Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and a late passage Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia). From here we headed to the Main hide searching the trees and bushes on the way looking for the locally rare Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon) but the cold cloudy weather meant that we did not see any of this cracking critter but we did see a couple of Stripe-less Tree Frogs (Hyla meridionalis) and heard plenty of the much commoner Iberian Water Frog (Rana Común / Rana Perezi). From the hide we saw a couple more of the introduced Red-knobbed Coots, Purple Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), another Squacco Heron which sat nicely for Deb and Ian to both get great views of and for Deb to get some good photo's of, an adult Night Heron (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), both Common (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and a very noisy Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti). We continued on around the site and checked the area out near Laguna del Taraje, on the walk to the site we had cracking views of a flight of three Purple Herons before they dropped back on to the main reserve, Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and on the way to the exit we had great views of a couple of Spotted Flycatchers (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata). During our visit we also saw Blue / Common (Anax imperator) and Lesser Emperors (Anax parthenope) and Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Monarch (Danaus plexippus) and Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa). The reserve was generally quiet so we exited at 11:30 and headed out towards the beach near the Golf Complex, we were soon picking up lifers for Deb and Ian, the first was a couple of Cory's Shearwaters (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris diomedea) which were heading East at around mid distance and these were soon followed by a Balearic Shearwater (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus) which was picked up at great distance by Juan. Here we also saw a flock of passing Sandwich Terns (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), a couple of more distant Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus) and half a dozen or so adult and immature Audouin's Gulls (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii). We then moved back to the point along the road through the Agricultural area where we had first met Juan and again as soon as we arrived we could hear the calls of several Common Quail (Codorniz Común /Coturnix coturnix) which remained elusivly out of sight but we did see more Turtle Doves, Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator).
At this point we returned to Juans car and said goodbye to him and thank him for his help, we then started off North heading towards Granada via the wetlands at Padul. Our target bird here was Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) and we soon had it under the belt, just after we arrived we found a couple of immature birds on the extreamly polluted main canal. We continued on down to the hide but apart from some good views of a couple of Great Reed Warblers (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus), a Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta) and a pair of brightly plumaged Common Stonechats (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata). We retraced our steps back to the spot where we saw the Water Rails and decided to sit down and stake the site out for a while and see if we could get views of an adult bird, after a short while we had some good views of the immatures again and then a nice adult bird came into views and showed well but briefly. We then eventually managed to get up off the ground creaking and groaning all the way and headed off to a site on the edge of Granada City looking for a couple of exotic species. We arrived and quickly added Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus) to the Granada  trip list, a Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), this was followed by a fly passed by 5 Monk Parakeets (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus) and we eventually had views of a male and female Red Avadavat's (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava). From here we headed back to the house.

Photographs from the top: Stripe-less Tree Frogs (Hyla meridionalis) MDR, Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides) DH, Purple Heron (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea) DH, Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) DH, Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) MDR and Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) DH.
DH= Deb Hopton, MDR= Me.

No comments: